Note - only one hand is shown as the other was occupied with the camera!
Yesterday I went up to London to meet a friend and to see the Evolving English exhibition at the British Library. I went by coach - a two and three quarter hour ride with nothing to do other than look at the passing scenery. Lovely, and how I relished the time spent just sitting and letting my mind wander something I rarely allow to happen normally. I noticed my hands resting in my lap and I got to thinking about hands in general and mine in particular. As you will see my hands are not going to win any awards nor will I be offered a job as a hand model (unless it is for the "before" picture) but they have served me well. These hands have peeled thousands of potatoes, typed millions of letters, cleaned up all sorts of things, knitted dozens of garments, lifted numerous cups of tea, planted hundreds of plants .....
They have expressed love, support, pointed out directions, clapped to show my appreciation of lots of performances both professional and otherwise, soothed many a fevered brow, changed many a dirty nappy, picked thousands of flowers held many hands both as a gesture of love and to protect from danger, they have even smacked on occasion!
No two pairs of hands are the same - every one is different and unique to the individual, there are long delicate fingered hands, strong workmanlike hands, those with carefully manicured nails and those with nails bitten to the quick as well as ones whose nails are filled with dirt/oil etc. There are hands with smooth silky skin, hands with weatherbeaten skin, white, brown or black. We can and do judge a person by their hands and if an opinion can be made within a few seconds of seeing a person's face then it can also be made when looking at hands. Hands cannot be concealed and are on view all the time along with the face - we used them to pay for things, to reach out for things. They give us feedback on so many things too - ever felt impelled to touch something? It might be the rough bark of a tree, the smooth texture of polished wood or glass, the softness of cashmere or the hard stiff feel of hessian. Seeing may be important but feeling is also very necessary if one is to know the quality of something isn't it? I wonder if you have ever thought of what miracles they are and wondered how we could manage without them - I don't think I had. I was nearly at Hammersmith by the time I had thought all this!
The exhibition was very interesting and I discovered things about our language which I hadn't realised before. We spent a couple of hours looking at everything and I wished I hadn't taken only my bi-focals as I found it difficult to read some of the exhibits (memo to self - take reading glasses as well next time) Lunch was good too and we got the last portions of soup left along with some good bread before returning to the exhibition for another look.
The British Library has some fantastic books in its collection including the Sherborne Missal an amazing book weighing 42 pounds and made in the 1400s and with magnificent art work. This book comes from Sherborne just down the road from here and I have to admit that I had never heard of it in spite of the fact that I went to school in the town (not in the 1400s of course!) There were other beautiful ancient books too from all over the world and I couldn't help thinking that the Kindle would probably not survive 600 years nor be anything like as interesting to any future generations if it did!
Thank you for your kind comments on my previous post and for those who asked about the pattern for the hearts it was from a Woman's Weekly magazine many years ago and I reproduce it here - if you can't read it let me know and I will type it out for you. Joy I do have some old patterns for knitted bikinis - not that I ever made one - but this one would be a bit teeny wouldn't it?!!
Have a good weekend.